Read a story about textile heritage in Britain. Decide what words should be used in the gaps 1-15. ONLY ONE WORD in each gap.
London Cloth Co
By reclaiming and rehousing unloved looms, Daniel Harris is helping to revive the country’s rich textile heritage
From Country Living February 2018
Over the past few years, in step with a growing consumer demand 1. .......... unique handmade creations, the great craft revival has been steadily gathering 2. .......... Embracing this trend to the full is Daniel Harris, founder of the London Cloth Company – the first mill in the capital to open in a century. 3. .......... by his passion for textiles, he has not only founded his own company producing them, but is also rescuing a key part of our industrial heritage, one salvaged loom at a time.
Stepping inside Daniel’s warehouse – located on the border of Epping, where city meets country on the threshold of one of Britain’s most famous forests – is like entering a bygone era. There’s a deafening clatter coming from a cast-iron loom as the shuttle hurtles back and 4. .........., noisily transforming cones of yarn into reams of thick tweed in a range of beguiling colours. Most of us associate creativity with serenity and calm, but this is 5. .......... ordinary craft. In fact, according to Daniel, it’s no craft at all.
„These 40-tonne machines were at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, „he points out, gesturing towards his 30-strong collection of shuttle looms, some of which date back to 1870. 6. .......... recently, these relics of past industry were rusting in long-forgotten outbuildings, but Daniel has gone to great 7. .......... - hiring cranes and travelling to the northernmost parts of Scotland – to save them and bring them back to the capital to create what he describes as „a working museum”. Here, he restores his finds to their former 8. .........., using spare parts from old machines to make fully functional versions. Once they’re up and running, he and a small team of freelance helpers put them to work.
Given his in-depth knowledge, it’s surprising to discover that Daniel’s interest is actually a relatively new one. Having worked in the costume business for ten years, he became increasingly fascinated with the process of making fabric, and then, with no previous weaving experience, decided to rescue a loom from a derelict Welsh farmhouse. Installing it into his east London sewing studio, he taught himself to use it over the 9. .......... of a year.
It wasn’t long 10. .......... he found himself turning from part-time amateur to full-time micro-mill professional. However, as Daniel explains, the process wasn’t exactly straightforward: „You might think that all you need is a loom, but I quickly realised I’d also need a pirn winder and a cone winder to prepare the warp. And then, once the orders started coming in, my loom was too narrow for the fabric I wanted to produce, so I had to get a bigger one…It’s never-ending.”
This might sound like a lot of trouble to go to, but Daniel says, there’s method in the 11. .......... Although slower, these vintage machines are, in many ways, easier to use than their modern counterparts. „You can see every working piece, „he explains, pointing toward his foot-pedalled Hattersley hand loom, „so you can follow the process. But this, „he says, indicating a computerised 1989 edition, „where do you begin with it? It’s overcomplicated.”
Craft or not, Daniel has certainly acquired a huge amount of skill in a very short time to be 12. .......... to carry out the complicated process. „In the beginning, our cloth was a bit rubbish. Now it’s so good that no one believes I make it myself.” he says, laughing. The quality of Daniel’s work is evidenced by the London Cloth Company’s impressive client list, which includes Ralph Lauren, Denham and Lavenham to 13. .......... but a few.
14. .......... working with such big names, Daniel is determined that his products should remain as ecologically sound as possible. „Our wool is sourced very carefully – sustainability is key to everything we do.” Rejecting quick fixes, his process is something of an antidote to fast- fashion – and although some clients can be demanding, he refuses to be swayed from the principles that his company was founded on: „They might want something to be made quickly, but it doesn’t work like that. It requires patience – we have to source the wool, have it spun into yarn, weave the fabric and then have it washed.” It may not be a craft as such, but this time-honoured procedure, steeped in tradition, couldn’t be truer to the saying: 15. .......... things come to those who wait.
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